By Scott Silva
Many years ago I lived in Calistoga for a short time and I always admired the Indian Springs Resort. It is a historic property and was definitely in need of some TLC. A few years ago the property was renovated and many new accommodations were added along with a restaurant. In January we decided to stay there to celebrate my partner’s birthday. While the property is amazing and luxurious it lacks the pretention found at many of the other high end hotels in the Napa Valley. There is a casual relaxed atmosphere that permeates the property. If we needed something the staff was always available to assist us but otherwise they leave you alone. I love this! I am perfectly happy to open my own doors thank you. For me it was a very relaxing and calming stay. Though the real reason to visit Indian Springs is the pool. I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of hotel pools having stayed at most of the major resorts in the state of Hawaii and many others in the US and Mexico. None can compare to the pool at Indian Springs. It is fed with natural mineral water from the hotel’s own geyser nearby. Periodically you can see the geyser erupt with a tall spout of steaming water just like ‘old faithful’. The main pool is Olympic sized and was kept at a perfect 105 degrees. There is also a smaller adult- only pool that was at 95 degrees. But honestly forget about the adult pool. The main pool is where you want to be. I never thought much of the supposed healing power of mineral pools but I am a true believer now. The water just feels different and is very soothing. The pool is open until midnight and I highly recommend taking a dip under the stars after dinner. It is sublime. There is no alcohol served at the pool (bummer) but honestly I think that would be a distraction from just relaxing and enjoying the wonderful water.
We booked massages and facials in the spa and though expensive, they were some of the best I have ever had. They have many treatments available and you should do at least one. On weekdays you get a day pass to the pool if you book a spa treatment. And yes, it still is all about the pool.
This is not an inexpensive resort, but we were able to take advantage of some great winter rates that were almost half of what you would pay in the summer. We checked into a Palm View room in one of the newer buildings that are spread around the 17-acre property. The room was large and luxurious. It was definitely not a cookie cutter room like you might find at a Ritz Carlton for example. It felt like you were staying at the home of a rich friend. There are bikes spread around the hotel and you can just grab one and explore the property or take a quick ride into downtown Calistoga.
There is a new restaurant ‘Sam’s Club’ on property. No, it is not connected with Wal-Mart. Rather it is named after Sam Brannon, one of the founders of Calistoga. It is an attractive space with a fireplace and nice bar. We didn’t want to leave the property so we went there for dinner and it was delicious with great service. There is no room service.
If you want to relax and be left to yourself to relax with a very upscale yet bohemian vibe and a one-of-a-kind pool this is the place.